Michael Andrews Arts

See Announcements for details on publication of Archilochus poems in Arion Magazine.

The Shield & The Lyre

The Poems of Archilochus as recreated by Michael Andrews


Artist Book

An Artist Book of poems, case bound with printed covers.
Archilochus reaches up, out from whatever circle of hell he has been consigned to in order to remake his poems. He is more than a little upset thinking how easily his life's work has disappeared in a world of illiterates and sport fans.
So he channels his poems into my head, in English no less, complete with modern metaphors and issues, and thinks "Nothing's changed." Writing The Shield left me feeling as if Archilochos was a real human being - more like an old friend come home. Archilochos was in fact the Bukowski of his day, a hard living poet who was both genius and victim.
The poems are recreations of the current complete canon of Archilochus' poems, fragments and biographical history, along with an introduction, afterward, bibliography and list of characters.
336, 6x9 inch pages on 100% rag, archival paper, 218 poems, case bound, printed with cover image on leather. Set with Lydian & Acropolis Now typefaces, printed on a natural rag paper.
Limited to 49 copies.




To Hell With That Shield

To hell with the Spartans.
They will never treat me to a free meal in their rat shit little town now.

Some blue tattooed Thracian, dumber than a sackfull of Spartans
is dancing naked around a bonfire with my beautiful new shield.

When those jelly kneed bastards turned and ran from the Saians
I had no choice, it was my shield or my ass,
so I threw the shield behind a bush, grabbed my ass and ran like hell.

And a damn good shield it was too, but it saved my skin
which doesn't have a single tattoo, blue or otherwise,
and is still firmly stretched tight over my aching bones.

Spartan mommies say "come back with your shield or on it."
You can't get more flat-ass stupid than a Spartan mommy.
To hell with that shield, to hell with the Spartans
and to hell with that Thracian too.

I am out of the rain, laughing with the same bastards
that left me facing a Thracian horde alone,
I'm drunk as a skunk and my ass is attached and my skin is too,
and when I am stone cold sober in the morning
I'll get another shield just as good – or even better.

Who knows, maybe in some battle or other
I'll meet that Thracian shield to shield
and we'll see what difference a tattoo makes.

After all, shields come and shields go
but you have to sit on your own backside forever
and no one is never, ever going to buy you
a nice, shiny new ass.